ALBUM REVIEW: Boston Manor – GLUE
Photo Credit: Edd Taylor
There’s always been bands, like Pendulum or The Prodigy, who have forged dance elements with guitar music to create an explosion of both sound and energy, but the line between rock and electronic has recently become even more blurred. Turning to computer generated effects has become commonplace for everyone from Silverstein to The Used and with their third album, Boston Manor joined the ranks.
The common denominator between all of the bands who blend the two successfully, is the fact that they don’t become lazy, relying completely on these effects, but instead see them as another way to add dimension to what are already well composed songs.
Everything is Ordinary, the opening track to GLUE, is a prime example of how to do this brilliantly. The flourishes never detract from the drive of the song or the urgency of the guitar, but it does add to the frantic energy those core components are already achieving – and the rest of the album follows this winning formula.
Although it might feel like a departure from their first two albums, GLUE isn’t completely left wing. If anything, there’s a lot of Be Nothing and Welcome To The Neighbourhood to be found when you take a closer look. The new material might have even more of an edge and an overall gloomier sound than their second album, but it possesses the same potent guitar riffs and rising choruses as the rest of their discography and, when you consider songs like Halo already experimenting with effects, then GLUE really is the culmination of all those different avenues of expression up until now.
GLUE isn’t just relevant in it’s sound, though; with the band tackling toxic masculinity on a sinister track called On A High Ledge, mental health on Terrible Love and the political climate on 1’s & 0’s, it’s an album for the times. Angry, dark and desperate to understand the world as it turns today, this record mirrors the headspace of scores of Millenials and Gen Z’s who are battling the injustice of a world dominated by people whose values don’t align.
Only1 and Monolith sound like the epitome of that anger; Henry Cox enraged as he screams through parts of these songs, instruments crashing around him with the same rage. Both songs puzzle into what Cox acknowledges as a “more abrasive and a weirder record,” but it all works flawlessly.
Instrumentally, it might sound like the soundtrack to the post-apocalypse, which is arresting by the way, but the content isn’t for some distant dystopia – it’s songs about what’s going on in the world right now if you’re willing to open your eyes to it.
GLUE is Boston Manor’s battle cry and it’s furious, palpable, exciting and very relatable.
Standout Tracks: Everything Is Ordinary, Only1, Liquid
For Fans Of: Nothing But Thieves, Trophy Eyes, Grayscale
Written by: Renette van der Merwe